Abura-sumashi

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A depiction of the abura-sumashi.

Abura-sumashi (油すまし?, "Oil Presser") is a creature from the folklore[citation needed] of Amakusa in Kumamoto prefecture.[citation needed] This spirit, which surprises people on the Kusazumigoe mountain pass,[citation needed] is thought to be the ghost of a human who stole oil.[citation needed]

In the days before electricity, oil was a very valuable commodity, necessary for lighting and heating a house. As such, the theft of oil, particularly from temples and shrines, could lead to punishment via reincarnation as a yōkai.[citation needed]

In modern media the abura-sumashi is often depicted as, "a squat creature with a straw-coat covered body and a potato-like or stony head,"[citation needed] an appearance inspired by the artwork of Shigeru Mizuki.[citation needed]

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